Recipe of the week: Aubergine confit with red rice miso vinaigrette, figs, wild blackberries, shiitake mushrooms, bee pollen and aromatic herbs

30 September 2021
Recipe of the week: Aubergine confit with red rice miso vinaigrette, figs, wild blackberries, shiitake mushrooms, bee pollen and aromatic herbs

Serves 6

Recipe from Septime

  • 3 large figs
  • 3 aubergines
  • 3 litres vegetable oil
  • 30 wild blackberries
  • 120ml fig vinegar
  • 120ml fig leaf oil
  • Mushroom escabeche, made with 12 shiitake mushrooms (see below), cut into thirds
  • 6-8 fresh hazelnuts, shelled
  • 30 flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 18 small purple shiso leaves
  • 30 coriander flowers
  • 90g toasted buckwheat
  • 12g fresh bee pollen
  • Fine salt
  • Fleur de sel

For the red rice miso vinaigrette

  • 50g red rice miso
  • 20ml fig leaf vinegar
  • 2tbs grapeseed oil

Quarter the figs then peel them, being sure to remove all the skin. Place the fig pieces on baking paper on dehydrator racks (or in the oven) at 70°C for three hours.

Peel the aubergines and cut them into 3cm-4cm cubes. Heat the oil in a deep fryer to 180°C and fry the aubergine cubes until nicely browned. Drain on paper towels and season with fine salt. Set aside at room temperature.

For the red rice miso vinaigrette

Mix the red rice miso and fig leaf vinegar with 40ml water in a blender at high speed for two minutes, then add the oil and mix at medium speed for another two minutes.

Just before serving

Put the fried aubergine pieces into a bowl, stir in the red rice miso vinaigrette, and let marinate for about 10 minutes.

Put the fig quarters and wild blackberries onto a baking sheet and season with the fig vinegar, fig leaf oil and fleur de sel, to taste.

Presentation

Place the diced aubergine in the centre of each plate, then add the fruits, shiitakes and hazelnuts. Scatter over the herbs, coriander flowers, toasted buckwheat and bee pollen.

For the mushroom escabeche

  • 200ml olive oil
  • 5g coriander seeds
  • 2g mountain peaks peppercorns
  • 2g black peppercorns
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 3 each of thyme sprigs, bay leaves or other aromatic herbs
  • 500g fresh mushrooms (eg, shiitake, oyster, ceps, chanterelles)
  • 100ml dry white wine
  • 50ml white wine vinegar (plain or flavoured)
  • 10g fleur de sel
  • 5g unrefined caster sugar
  • 1g chilli powder

Heat 100ml of the oil in a pan over high heat and fry the spices, garlic and herbs for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Set aside at room temperature.

Quarter or halve the mushrooms so they are similar sizes (about 2cm-3cm pieces).

Heat the remaining 100ml of oil in a sauté pan over high heat and fry the mushrooms for three minutes, without colouring them, then deglaze with the wine and vinegar.

Reduce the heat to low and add the salt, sugar, chilli powder and spices. Simmer for seven minutes, then transfer to a glass preserving heat-resistant jar. Leave to marinate for at least 24 hours before use.

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